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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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The worst post I've ever written.

I wish I had good news for you.

I was 10 and a half weeks pregnant, yesterday. I woke up a pregnant woman. The worst of the first-trimester misery was over. I've been lucky that way: this time, as with the last pregnancy, I was pretty much done with the constant nausea by eight weeks. Last time I freaked out and demanded an ultrasound, convinced that the absence of nausea heralded bad news. Then of course we saw Henry in there, waving his limbs at us, and we laughed at all our silly worrying, and carried on. This time I knew better. I was so calm throughout this pregnancy, nothing like I was the last time. When I was pregnant with Henry I began freaking out approximately ten minutes after the stick showed me both its lines. A week later I developed hives across my abdomen, giant egg-shaped welts. My doctor diagnosed me with some kind of virus, but I knew what had caused it: apocalyptic Google searches. This time, I knew: Thou Shalt Not Google. I didn't unearth my pregnancy books from the basement. I took my prenatals, and I laughed at my rapidly expanding midsection. The eight-week appointment was great, and we saw the fetus in there, heard its enthusiastic heartbeat, took a picture home that showed its little limb buds sticking out from the body. I planned the announcement post on my blog. Scott and I were beyond excited.

So as I said. Yesterday, I was pregnant. Scott went to work, Henry went to school, and I… well, I went to the bathroom, where I noticed some spotting. It was spotting so tiny that I could have ignored it. I could have not seen it at all. It was an eensy brown smudge. Nonetheless, I promptly began hyperventilating. This is what I do. Because if I worry hard enough I can ward off any bad news. If I'm neurotic enough, the universe will laugh, pat me on the head, and rain disaster down on some unsuspecting sane person. I called my doctor, who was as unconcerned as any normal human being would be, but suggested that I come in, just for peace of mind. I made an appointment for the afternoon, and after that, there was absolutely no spotting. Nothing at all. I laughed at myself, at what a big deal I had made over this tiny one-time smudgy nothing.

Everything was casual and light at the OB/GYN, until the ultrasound. The first thing I noticed was the absence of movement. Maybe it's the angle? I thought. She was moving all around my abdomen, so it was hard to say. Then she began pointing things out to me. "Here, you see, here is where I should see a heartbeat." I'm so sorry, she kept saying, I'm so sorry. She began measuring. I'm so sorry, she repeated, it looks like growth ended at about eight and a half weeks.

Everything that follows is a blur. I believe the first thought I had was, "And now I shall have a margarita." It was the best thing I could think to stop myself from losing all control, but I couldn't stop it, of course, and soon I was weeping so loudly that I imagined the office staff ushering all the pregnant women out of the building. Nothing to see here, ladies! No bad news around here! Who's for ice cream? The doctor left me alone so I could call Scott, and arrange for someone to pick up Henry, there was no way I could pick him up from school in my current state. The call to Scott was the worst call I ever had to make. I kept repeating what the doctor had said. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Because if I could feel bad for him, if I could concentrate on him and all he had lost, I didn't have to think about what was inside me at that moment.

Nothing much has happened since then. We're going in for some sort of super high-tech ultrasound this afternoon, which seems like the worst form of torture, but apparently is necessary before they can schedule the D&C. Meanwhile I'm having absolutely no spotting, just an occasional breathtaking pain that rips through me and reminds me of what's going on, like I need reminding. We're hoping that we get some answers from the pathology report, that we find out that there was some chromosomal defect and that we were spared unspeakable pain down the road. Anything so we can feel like this isn't the worst that could possibly have happened.

Reader Comments (826)

So sorry for your loss, Alice--sending warm thoughts and prayers your way. (((HUGS)))
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen in CT
Delurking to say how sorry I am for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCori
I'm so sorry to hear the sad news, and I wish you and Scott and Henry the strength to heal.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela
So very sorry. This happened to me twice, and it truly does suck. You are not alone.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTwice Five Miles
I am so sorry. How unspeakably sad.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelectriclady
I'm adding my voice to the chorus of your internet friends. But also, as my mom would say:

Hell and damnation.

You deserve better.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternate
I'm so sorry. Your family are in my prayers.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMischa
So very sorry. This happened to me twice, and it truly does suck. You are not alone.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTwice Five Miles
I am so sorry for your loss. But you are so strong for posting about it so soon. Hopefully your openness will help someone else going through the same thing. My prayers are with you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I miscarried two pregnancies, but both miscarriages happened before I had my eldest child. It must be so much worse for you, because you've already experienced motherhood.

I'm so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy Buxom
Oh God Alice what awful news for you all. And you were being so happy and calm about it! That's not fair.

You will be a mother again, and when this baby gets its act together and happens for you, it's going to be the most loved baby there is. I wish it had happened for you this time. Take care. Lots and lots of love, and more.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
Such sad news, I'm so sorry you all have to go through this.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I am sorry for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNot on Fire
Oh, Alice. I'm sorry. Take care of yourself.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkelli
I'm so very sorry, Alice.

1.5 oz. tequila1 oz. Cointreau1 oz. fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)1/2 oz. Chambord

Consider doubling. Shake with ice while shouting unspeakable things at Quetzalcoatl.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
I have tears in my eyes as I sit at work reading this. I am so, so sorry for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
For what it's worth, I'm very sorry for you loss, too. I cannot imagine how hard it is to go from such a high to such a low.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbes
I know my words are a repeat of others, but please know I am truly sorry for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBusy Mom
My heart aches for you.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry for you. You don't know me, but you and your family are in my thoughts.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentereve
Dang, girl. No. Damn, girl. Sometimes strong words are called for.

Am praying that the Lord will see fit to restore your joy. Soon.

1 Corinthians 2:9, "No mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord."

There's a simple book that brought so much healing to my grieving soul when we lost our baby. "Mommy, Please Don't Cry" by Linda Deymaz. I'd encourage you to pick it up.

I am so sorry for your loss. I know you would so much rather have known this child than the loss of having lost him or her.

I am praying for you as you learn to walk in your healing.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSoliloquy
I am so very sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
Longtime lurker, posting to send my condolences.I am so, so sorry. You & Scott & Henry are all in my thoughts and prayers today. Take good 7 gentle care of yourself.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermegan
I hope putting your words out here helps to bring you comfort. So sorry about this.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
I'm heartbroken for you. Take care.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKady

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